Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War hit theaters last week, and it’s safe to say that it has become a behemoth of a movie. Joe and Anthony Russo have crafted something incredibly special with this latest MCU movie, and Chris Evans continues to prove that he was born to play that Star-Spangled Avenger.
Considering just how awesome Civil War is as a movie, it’s hard to imagine that Captain America once had a terrible legacy at the movies. Over the last five years the character has become one of the most undeniably reliable and badass superheroes to ever grace the silver screen – and he seems far from done. With that in mind, we previously talked about some of Cap's most truly heroic moments, and now we have compiled a list of the eleven moments from the Marvel Cinematic Universe that definitively exemplify Steve Rogers’ status as a badass. Now let’s get started with one of the earliest...
Chasing Down Heinz Kruger
Captain America barely had a second to breathe before he was forced to put up or shut up following the success of Project Rebirth. Towards the end of Captain America: The First Avenger’s first act, Dr. Erskine is killed by assassin Heinz Kruger, and Steve immediately hops into action for the very first time. Using his newfound peak human abilities, Steve chases Kruger through the streets of New York in what could only be described as one of the MCU’s most inspirational scenes. Here, we get hints of everything to come: Steve’s insane speed; his strength; and even his aptitude for using a shield to block incoming gunfire – all while constantly apologizing for the destruction he causes. Although Kruger kills himself at the end of the chase, Rogers gets his man and announces Captain America’s arrival in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Taking Down A Comically Large HYDRA Tank
Although the endlessly stylish Captain America: The First Avenger somewhat glosses over the bulk of Steve Rogers’ service during WWII, it still provides an excellent montage of him and the Howling Commandos tearing The Red Skull’s HYDRA organization apart. One of the coolest moments comes when Steve throws a satchel charge into a ridiculously enormous tank, and then jumps to safety at the very last second. It’s a quick moment in a montage full of awesome sequences, but it also perfectly encapsulates Captain America’s ability to pull off extraordinary feats of athleticism and bravery while on the battlefield.
Coming Between Thor And Iron Man
You would probably think that a guy with artificially enhanced deltoids wouldn’t stand a chance against a walking arsenal and a literal god. You would be wrong. When Thor and Iron Man become "acquainted" with one another during the events of The Avengers, they don’t exactly get along immediately. Realizing the potential danger of a prolonged fight between these two heroes, Steve Rogers throws on a parachute, downplays Thor’s status as a god, and leaps into action. This moment shows his sheer level of badass-ness, because it not only exhibits his ability to stand up to two theoretically more powerful beings – seriously, Thor tried to kill him in that forest – but it also shows his ability to let go of his ego and get The Avengers back on task.
Rescuing A Building Full Of People Cornered By Chitauri
While Thor, Hulk, and Iron Man seemed busy taking on the bigger monsters of the Chitauri army during the climax of The Avengers, Steve kept himself occupied by looking out for the little guy on the streets of New York. At one point, a Chitauri death squad rounds up a large group of humans in a building and prepares to execute them. Sensing the danger, Steve Rogers leaps into action and clears the building before the aliens can set off an explosion that would undoubtedly leave dozens dead. Cap doesn’t stick around either; he makes a quick exit out of an upper floor window and gets right back to kicking ass with the rest of his team. Total badass.
Dropping To The Lemurian Star Without A Parachute
One of the best aspects of Captain America: The Winter Soldier came in the form of the witty banter between Cap and Black Widow as they performed incredible feats. The earliest of these moments came right before the S.H.I.E.L.D. strike team made an assault on The Lemurian Star to rescue a group of hostages. After a cute back and forth about dating, Cap gets to work and jumps from the back of the jet into the Indian Ocean without a parachute – plummeting hundreds of feet into the water in order to make his stealthy assault. If you think that’s impressive, then watch the movie again; he’s not even wet when he boards the ship.
Taking Down An Elevator of Thugs
Joe and Anthony Russo’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier has one of the coolest action sequences in the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe – and it also happens to be one of the smallest. When HYDRA begins to make its move and take over S.H.I.E.L.D., one of its first orders of business is to put down Cap. To do this, Brock Rumlow and several other agents corner Steve Rogers in an elevator in the Traskelion. However, Cap quickly figures out what’s going on, offers the attackers a chance to walk away, and then proceeds to beat some serious ass in a very confined space. After the bad guys have been put down, he proceeds to jump from the elevator and use his shield to cushion his fall – much to the disbelief of Jasper Sitwell.
Throwing A Motorcycle At HYDRA Thugs
Motorcycles: not just for transportation anymore. The endlessly cool opening sequence of Avengers: Age of Ultron gives each and every member of the team a moment to shine; however, it’s Cap who really stands out as the ultimate badass. While bickering with Iron Man over his insistence on monitoring the foul language of the team, Cap encounters a squad of HYDRA soldiers on a jeep. Rather than throwing his shield at them – as he is wont to do – he instead chooses to flip over the handlebars of his motorcycle and hurl it into the enemy vehicle. He doesn’t miss a beat either, uttering, "It just slipped out," in reference to the word "Language!" but possibly also the motorcycle, itself.
Almost Lifting Mjolnir
As far as party tricks go, we have to say that we think this one is pretty damn cool. One of the most fun scenes in Avengers: Age of Ultron involves the titular team trying to lift Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir. Just about everyone gives it a try, but no one can even nudge the ancient weapon. However, when Steve Rogers attempts to lift the hammer, it budges somewhat, causing a look of worry to cross the face of the typically cocky Thor. It’s a quick moment, but one that instantly explains the badass worthiness of the red, white, and blue Avenger – and possibly hints at an awesome moment to come during Infinity War.
Taking On Ultron Mano-A-Mano
A running theme on this list is the fact that Steve Rogers will regularly take on threats far more powerful than himself. Few entries represent that idea than when he decided to take on the titular villain of Avengers: Age of Ultron in a hand-to-hand fight. Although he’s woefully outmatched for pretty much the entirety of the fight, Captain America refuses to stand down, and even manages to get in a few good shots on Ultron’s vibranium body with his vibranium shield. Cap may not have taken Ultron down in the end, but he showed the robotic threat that the members of The Avengers don’t have to fear him.
Pulling Bucky’s Helicopter Back To Earth
How much do you think you can bicep curl? 30 lbs.? 40 lbs.? Well during the events of Captain America: Civil War, Steve Rogers bicep curls the weight of a helicopter in an attempt to prevent Bucky from escaping and hurting any more people while under the control of Zemo. This is, hands down, one of the most badass moments on this entire list; the heroic music swells as Steve grits his teeth and gives gravity a helping hand with his enhanced muscular abilities. It shows not only the power of this Marvel hero, but also the lengths he will go to in order to save someone that he cares about.
Pummeling Iron Man With His Bare Hands
Remember when I said that The Avengers proved that Captain America could stand up to men like Iron Man and Thor? Well, Captain America: Civil War proved that he could kick at least one of their asses. During the climactic showdown in Siberia, Steve unleashes the full power of his peak human fighting abilities on Iron Man and completely lays into him with everything he’s got. Although Tony gets a few good shots in, Steve ultimately manages to not only overpower the Iron Avenger, but the AI specifically designed to counteract Steve’s superior fighting style. The most badass part? Steve only does enough damage to depower Iron Man’s suit and get Bucky out of the compound; it isn’t personal for him. That's what makes him a hero.
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Originally from Connecticut, Conner grew up in San Diego and graduated from Chapman University in 2014. He now lives in Los Angeles working in and around the entertainment industry and can mostly be found binging horror movies and chugging coffee.
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